Jameson whisky

Pernod Ricard sales in the UK were lifted by Jameson whisky

Pernod Ricard UK has described its UK performance as “very satisfactory” – despite the French company saying there was “quasi-stability” in the UK.

Managing director of Pernod Ricard UK Denis O’Flynn told The Grocer there had been strong growth of premium wine and white spirits, with off-sales growing at 6%, twice that of the market.

“Wine – particularly premium wines – has performed well for us and that’s down to the marketing investments”

Denis O’Flynn, Pernod Ricard

The ‘quasi-element’ referred to in the company’s annual results this morning came from “disappointing” sales of Malibu, O’Flynn said. “Although this is still in small single-digit growth in the off-trade, it had slowed down,” he admitted. “In the 12 months to June, no one got an Olympic bounce so Malibu has not performed as well as we would like. However, in the last six weeks, it has bounced back.”

O’Flynn said the UK’s star performers included Spanish wine brand Campo Viejo, Jameson whisky and vodka brand Absolut.

“Wine – particularly premium wines – has performed well for us and that’s down to the marketing investments,” he said. “Campo Viejo is powering well ahead. The Spanish category is growing strongly and we’re significantly ahead of the market.”

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Pernod Ricard has reported “strong performance” driven by its top brands – but said the UK market remained “quasi-stable”.

Jacob’s Creek has turned a curve to be back in “significant single-digit” growth, O’Flynn said, and was now the only Australian brand over £6 selling more than one million cases a year. Similarly, Brancott Estate performed well, taking the top spot for New Zealand sauvignon blancs in the UK.

There was also positive news on white spirits, with Beefeater and Absolut in double-digit growth, which O’Flynn attributed to the company’s strategy of putting value ahead of volume. Despite an overall global slowdown in whisky, the spirit was “going well” in the UK, he said.

“The value strategy of Jameson has been particularly noteworthy,” he said. “Having significantly increased the retail price over the last 18 months, the brand is back in value growth.”

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